Scarpa Neutron Alpine Running Shoe | Review
There's no doubting Scarpa's alpine mountaineering heritage, but does that mean the Italian footwear specialist can also produce a trail-running shoe?
'Plenty of all-round grip and protection, but slightly lacking in cushioning when running on harder surfaces '
Outdoors Magic: Great grip from the Vibram sole, sturdy build quality and decent underfoot protection on rocky stuff. Wet grip good too. Nice fit.
Outdoors Tragic: Not as comfortable as some alternatives on harder surfaces. Slightly clumsy feel.
Outdoors Grabbit? We loved these shoes on softer terrain where fit and grip both felt great, but there are better options if you cover much pavement, slabbed trail or similar.
Alpine running shoe / Vibram Genetic outsole / dual-density,compression moulded EVA mid-sole / synthetic leather and polyester upper / H-EVA Plate insole / 6mm heel to toe drop / reflective lace surround.
Full Review Below
Scarpa Neutron Shoes - The Tech
Scarpa knows a lot about mountain boots, but how well does that translate over into trail running shoes? Or in Scarpa language, 'Alpine Running' shoes? In truth there's nothing super radical here, though most of the boxes you'd expect to be ticked, are.
There's a fabric upper with artificial leather overlay along with mountain-friendly toe, heel and instep protection, a dual-density EVA midsole and down below, a dual-coloured Vibram Genetic outsole.
As you'd expect from Scarpa, it all feels solidly built and high quality with no modish gimmicks.
Scarpa Neutron Performance
There's a lot to like about the Neutron, in particular that Vibram Genetic sole was so impressively grippy on anything from wet rock through to soft, grassy steeps that we actually did some research into it.
Turns out it uses Vibram's impressively grippy Megagrip rubber, which is claimed to mix durability with awesome grips levels. The lug shapes seem to work as well, we had no slippage issues uphill, down, or off camber, the things just stuck. We were particularly impressed with the security on wet rock.
The rest of the shoe is solid and comfortable with good underfoot protection on stony trails and comfortable uppers with a medium broad fit. The only time it felt uncomfortable was on continuous hard surfaces like pavements, slabbed trails and continuous rocky terrain where it wasn't as comfortable and cushioned as something like the Salomon Speedcross 4 or Saucony Peregrine 6.
Our other gripe was that the shoe feels sturdy rather than nimble. Some of that may be down to the broader than average heel, which is stable, but a little clumpy.
Awesome grip from the Vibram sole and generally comfortable plus well made, the Neutron has a sturdy, reliable vibe rather than a quick and nimble feel. Finally, it's slightly harsher than some alternatives on harder surfaces. If you run mostly on mixed and softer terrain though, it's a reliable choice.